Russian Defence Ministry rejects proposal to downsize armed forces

21 October 2020 (Last Updated October 21st, 2020 16:24)

Russian Defence Ministry has reportedly rejected a proposal that involved reducing the size of the country’s military personnel by 10%.

Russian Defence Ministry rejects proposal to downsize armed forces
Russian troops marching in the 2015 Moscow Victory Day Parade. Credit: Vitaly V Kuzmin.

Russian Defence Ministry has reportedly rejected a proposal that involved reducing the size of the country’s military personnel by 10%.

According to a report by the Russian news agency Tass, the ministry dismissed the proposal as unacceptable and sent its viewpoint to the country’s Security Council.

The ministry said in a statement that the current numerical strength and structure of the military have been devised on the basis of the tasks performed to ensure the state’s security.

The statement added that the Russian Armed Forces has a stable manning system.

A local newspaper Izvestia first reported that Russian Finance Ministry has forwarded a plan to reduce the armed forces by reducing vacancies.

The plan also included transferring military medics, lecturers, financiers, lawyers and logistics personnel among others to civil service.

Other proposals include increasing the retirement age in the army and extending the length of military service.

However, a Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that no decisions have been made on downsizing the military.

Peskov was quoted by the news agency as saying: “No decisions on this score have been made. Expert discussions may quite be held but no such issues are at the stage of making decisions.”

Recently, Russia signed a military cooperation agreement with Kazakhstan. The agreement will expand the cooperation to include peacekeeping, interaction within international organisations and countering regional challenges among others.

Separately, Sweden plans to increase military spending amid tensions with Russia.